K-Pop Girl Group Odd Eye Circle Regroup for Their Post-LOONA Revival (Exclusive Q&A)
In 2017, former LOONA members JinSoul, Choerry and Kim Lip made their debut as sub-unit Odd Eye Circle with "Girl Front," the lead synth-pop single off their first EP, Mix & Match. Known for their "girl crush"-inducing concept, the sub-unit's sound and visuals were more sensual than those of the other unit groups formed under LOONA, setting the trio apart.
In March, after they left LOONA and secured an injunction to terminate their contracts with former agency Blockberry Creative, news broke that JinSoul, Choerry and Kim Lip were reuniting to make their re-debut as Odd Eye Circle.
On July 12, Odd Eye Circle released Version Up, their new, contemporary pop mini-album inspired by Jersey Club, R&B and house music, led by lead single "Air Force One." The album finds the trio rising up from their past to redefine themselves on their own terms.
Watch Odd Eye Circle's "Air Force One" Music Video:
But there's more to Odd Eye Circle's revival than just new music. Along with former LOONA members Heejin and Haseul, JinSoul, Choerry and Kim Lip are now part of ARTMS, a brand new, expansive music project. Odd Eye Circle's first music video under their re-debut even features Heejin — a mysterious cameo that has stoked fans' curiosity for this new era for the K-pop stars.
Below, Odd Eye Circle open up about their debut redux, the possibility of adding new members into the mix and what it was like regrouping post-LOONA.
What's it like being back in the game and doing fresh promotions?
Choerry: We have been keeping ourselves really busy with various activities including recordings, music videos [and] shootings. We have also been preparing very hard for our upcoming tours as well.
Besides "Je Ne Sais Quois," the tracks "Lucid" and "Love Me Like" are great b-sides. Do you have plans to perform those songs before your promotional cycle ends?
JinSoul: We don’t have a set plan to perform "Lucid" and "Love Me Like" during our promotional period, however, you will be able to see the performance of those two songs at our concerts [and] the upcoming tour. So, you can look forward to that.
Can you break down the "Air Force One" music video for us?
JinSoul: The basic story line of the music video implies the meaning of just erasing everything that already existed and going on a new journey. It’s a new start for us. And that story is told in a ... cinema-type of storytelling. Also, a cake appears in the music video. That has a very important meaning as well.
What is Heejin’s role in the music video? Is she a new member?
Kim Lip: [laughs] So, Heejin is a cameo in our music video. There’s been a lot of words going around that Heejin is joining Odd Eye Circle but I can’t say for sure about that just yet. However, I can say to all the fans and public to look forward to a possible new combination of members in terms of music. It could be solo, it could be a unit, or the whole group of the ARTMS project.
We thought she was your gang leader for a second.
Choerry: Yeah, that’s a very plausible [option] that may appear. And that’s part of the fun — just trying to guess what each of the symbols means within the music video.
Now that you guys are entering this new chapter for Odd Eye Circle, what were your first impressions when you regrouped for the new mini-album?
Kim Lip: It didn’t really feel real, the fact that we were actually getting together as a unit once again and releasing a song. Thankfully, even before the debut a lot of fans sent love and support ... To satisfy their expectations we wanted to show the perfect side; just perfect music in general so we were really greedy about the quality of the album and the songs. Even our CEO, Jaden Jeong, was really greedy about the quality. In one word, Version Up is a greedy album.
Because this is your group's revival, how would you describe Odd Eye Circle for for those who are unfamiliar?
Choerry: Odd Eye Circle is a group that doesn’t lack anything. Our performances are great, our visuals are great. I wish a lot of the people who don't know OEC yet will send lots of love to us.
What challenges are you facing now that you’re navigating OEC outside of LOONA?
Kim Lip: Since we were a unit group [within] a group that had a lot of members, it’s really hard to accept the fact that we have to give up on all the benefits that we got being in group with a lot of members. I think that’s one of the difficulties we’re going to have to face.
Listen to Odd Eye Circle's 'Version Up' Album:
There’s so many possibilities with ARTMS, especially now that Haseul recently joined in.
Kim Lip: Since we have Haseul in the ARTMS project, and there are more members in the ARTMS project, you’ll be able to see a lot of combinations of members within that project.
What are some new goals and aspirations you have for yourself at the moment?
Choerry: Our goal is to be able to meet as [many] fans as possible, international fans. We would also like to go to a lot of festivals and conventions to show the various charms and skills we have to a lot of people.
What are you looking forward to most for your European tour?
JinSoul: I would love to try escargot again. Last time I went to Europe I tried it and just the texture of it and the taste... I can never forget about it. I would really like to try escargot one more time.
Choerry & Kim Lip: Same!
You’ve been with each other through thick and thin. What are some hobbies or habits you have picked up along the way?
Choerry: I used to do a lot of cooking for myself and I also spent a lot of time watching various dramas and movies. I also started learning acting for myself. Acting and vocals. That’s the habit I picked up while spending time watching a lot of dramas and movies. I have a dream of actually acting in front of a camera in the future so I watch a lot of films and dramas.
Would you rather make your debut in a movie or a drama series?
Choerry: Debut as a role in a drama because movie acting is just another level and I would like to try movie acting when I’m more mature in acting. Personally, I love the fantasy genre, but right now I actually want to try a refreshing kind of concept.
Do you have a message for your fans who have been waiting for new music?
Choerry: Please send lots of love to our new mini-album Version Up, and also please send love and support to our title song, "Air Force One," as well. We will work hard to show you the best possible [versions] of ourselves [since] you waited for us for a long time, so please look forward to our new journey.
Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Kim Lip: I’m wearing Crocs right now and it doesn’t fit with my current outfit.
Choerry: I have a spot drawn on my face, on my left cheek. Isn’t it pretty?
JinSoul: My makeup artist actually took so many good photos of me just now so I’m planning to post them on Instagram.